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John Strother Clayton, Sr.

General Biography

Clayton retired in 1985 as Principal Specialist in Educational Technology for the Department of Educational Affairs of the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C.

As Chief of the Educational Technology Unit (1970-1985), Clayton had been responsible for the development and administration of projects related to the utilization of technology in education throughout the hemisphere in the twenty-seven countries of the Organization of American States. Widely studied for their innovative employment of strategic concepts to education, the OAS programs which Clayton directed were described (in an independent evaluation) as unmatched "either qualitatively or quantitatively" by any other international organization.

After serving in World War II -- first as an infantryman with the 14th Armored Division and then as a broadcaster with the Armed Forces Network -- in France, Italy, Germany, and the United States, Clayton joined the staff of the Communication Center of the University of North Carolina as a writer-director in radio, television, and film -- his productions receiving seven national and numerous regional awards. The series American Adventure which he directed was carried by NBC for several years.

As Associate Professor in the University's Department of Radio, Television, and Motion Pictures, Clayton was director of the department's Graduate Program and taught courses in Criticism, Film, and Directing.

In addition to his own writing, Clayton has served as a theatre critic and as a judge in annual television journalism contests for the South Eastern region. (See also Papers)

For three years (1963-1966) Clayton served as senior advisor to the Government of Jamaica in the development of their national educational television system. In Jamaica he was called "the father of Jamaican educational television."

Additional service includes his tenure as a consultant for the Agency for International Development and the Peace Corps in educational television in Columbia, Brazil, and Uruguay, as Special Advisor in Telecommunications to the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, and as a staff member on several Presidential Task Forces concerned with the utilization of telecommunications technology in education in underdeveloped countries or Lesser Developed Countries or Developing Countries, depending upon current jargon.

Clayton holds four degrees from the Universities of North Carolina and Yale with studies in Communications, Drama, Philosophy, and Classics. He is the author of over one hundred productions in radio, television, and film. Positions he has held include: Chairman of the Board of the Academy for Research, Instruction, and Educational Systems (ARIES International), member of the Board of Directors of the ECT Foundation, licensed lay reader of the Episcopal Church, Founder (with others) of the Church of the Holy Family in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where he held a number of positions including Director of the Every Member Canvass, Sunday School Superintendent and Vestryman, Chairman of the Board of the YM-YWCA at the University of North Carolina, Charter Member of the Chapel Hill Chamber of Commerce, Founder and Member of the Consejo Editorial of La Revista de Tecnologia Educativa, President of the Sigma Chi House Corporation, Publications Chairman and Board Member of the International Division of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT), and member of the American Association of University Professors, the National Academy of Radio and Television Arts and Sciences, the National Society of Illuminating Engineers (Board Member), the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Association of Educational Broadcasters. He is a former President of the International Division of the AECT, and was nominated for president of the association in 1984. (See Memberships)

Clayton has served in a professional capacity in Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, France, Germany, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, the United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Having grown up in Washington, D. C. where he attended public schools -- Oyster, Alice Deal, Gordon, and Western High School -- and held his first job (with The Washington Post as a copy boy), Clayton has long considered Washington his home. He is a member of the Cosmos Club, Washington's preeminent club for persons with distinguished achievement in science or the learned professions, and the Sigma Chi Fraternity. His interests have included sailing (he has owned and sailed a number of boats, including the Cheoy Lee ketch, Galadriel), Scuba Diving (he was faculty advisor to the UNC Aquaholics as well as a member in Jamaica of the British Subaquatic Club), Bridge, and Chess. He is married to the former Jutta Sprenger Salinas with whom he shares six married children and ten grandchildren. They make their home in Rockville, Maryland, in the United States of America.

 

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